Introduction to portal service

Every portal has a unique instance of a portal service. The portal service provides the functionality to securely create, manage, and access content, data services, users, and groups in a portal. You can also use it to organize and search for items, users, and groups. The service supports the REST API that can be accessed with ArcGIS tools, ArcGIS Maps SDKs, open source libraries and scripting APIs.

You use the portal service to build applications that can:

  • Create, manage, and access geospatial content such as maps, scenes, layers, and data services.
  • Share content privately, publicly, or with groups.
  • Search for private or public content in your organization.
  • Securely host and manage your data services.
  • Create and manage users and groups in your organization.

This topic provides an overview of the common operations you can perform with the portal service.

Access a portal service

To access a portal, you need an ArcGIS account. Your account is associated with an organization and it gives you access to a private space in a portal where you can store and manage your own content. It also allows you to sign in with tools, such as ArcGIS Online and the Location Platform Dashboard to create, manage, share, and search content. With an account you can also create API keys and OAuth 2.0 tokens that can be used to access the portal service operations.

To access the portal service directly, you need to get the URL from your organization and make a self request to extract the supported operations.

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This example shows how to execute a self request using the portal service.

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Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

Response (JSON)
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  "helperServices": {
    // Other parameters
    "analysis": {
      "url": "https://<YOUR_ANALYSIS_SERVICE>/arcgis/rest/services/tasks/GPServer"
    "geoenrichment": {
      "url": ""

Manage content items

The portal service offers the ability to store, manage, and access geospatial data for individuals and organizations. All content are managed as items.

You use the portal service to:

  • Create a centralized repository to store geospatial resources like maps, layers, apps, and tools.
  • Create groups and folders to organize content and categorize geospatial data.
  • Add metadata to content such as descriptions, tags, and information about the data source to promote content organization.
  • Search for specific items within the organization which is important for discovering relevant content.
  • Customize sharing settings allowing users to control the accessibility of their content.


The common content management operations are below:

Use caseDescription
Create an itemUpload an item file, submit text content, or submit the item URL to a portal.
Delete an itemRemoves the item and its data from a portal.
Copy an itemCreates a new item that is a copy of the original item on the server side. The newly created item will have a new itemID.
Move an itemMoves an item from the current folder to the specified target folder.
Update an itemUpdate item information such as title, description, and tags or use it to update an item's file, URL, or text.

Share items

Sharing using the portal service promotes collaboration, accessibility, security, and integration of your content. With the the support for sharing, you can:

  • Share your maps, data, and other content in a secure and controlled manner.
  • Specify whether an item is shared publicly, with the organization, with specific groups, or kept private.
  • Determine who can view, edit, or share each item.
  • Integrate your maps, apps, and data into workflows and systems outside of your portal.


The common sharing operations are below:

Use caseDescription
Share an itemShare an item with a set of specific groups that the user belongs to.
Unshare an itemUnshares one or many items with the specified list of groups.
Publish an itemPublishes a hosted service based on an existing source item. Prior to publishing, items must be added using Add item.

Search for items

Searching using the portal service allows you to discover and access geospatial content, including maps, layers, apps, and more.

You use the search capabilities when you want to:

  • Perform keyword searches to discover maps, layers, apps and tools.
  • Filter search by content type (like maps, layers, and apps), owner, date created, tags, and more to find specific types of content.
  • Perform spatial search by entering a location or drawing a bounding box on the map to find content related to geographic areas.
  • Browse categories to discover content related to your area of interest. Each category provides a collection of items that can be further filtered and explored.
  • Discover ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World for high-quality, authoritative content to enhance your maps and analysis.


The common search operations are below:

Use caseDescription
Search for textFind items with keywords in the title or description.
Search for tags and ownerFind items with keywords in tags or owner.
Search for type of itemFind items by based on item types.
Search for a groupFind groups by searching for a text in the title.
Search near a locationFind items near a point or bounding box (extent).

User and group management


A user is an individual who has an account and can access and interact with features of the portal service. A user can create and share maps, apps, and data, collaborate with others, perform analysis, and manage their own content.

You generally work with users when you want to:

  • Create user accounts.
  • Assign roles and permissions.
  • Collaborate with other users.
  • Manage groups of users for collaboration and content sharing.


The common user operations are below:

Use caseDescription
Create a new userCreate a new user using the new member default values.
Search for a userUse a query to search users by name, description, and other information.
Find a userFind a user with their username.
Update user informationUpdate user profile information such as their role or credits assigned.
Get invitation statusFind the status of an invitation that was sent to a user to join the portal.


Groups serve as collaborative spaces where users with common interests or working on similar projects can share and manage content collectively. Groups can be created by administrators or users with the appropriate permissions.

You use groups to:

  • Collaborate with others by sharing maps, apps, and data.
  • Control access to your content.
  • Organize your content by grouping related items together.
  • Share your content with a specific audience.
  • Allow others to find and access content created by others.
  • Stay informed about updates and changes to shared content through notifications.


The common group operations are below:

Use caseDescription
Search for a groupFind a one or more groups in the portal using a query.
Create a new groupDefine a new group and how it can be accessed.
Invite users to a groupInvite users by their user names.
Search for group contentFind items shared with a group using a query.
Update group propertiesChange the properties of a group such as the name, description, and permissions.

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